Target Marketing September 2012
"Data" has become the darling of the marketing world recently as information technology and database marketing really hit their strides in business. Marketers now know more than ever about their customers and their shopping behavior. We also have extremely powerful technology to drive a mind-boggling number of calculations in record time.
Recently, I had occasion to go into my long-abandoned, never-used (but never canceled) AOL account and discovered 9,321 emails waiting for me. I was appalled. It is unimaginable to me that I never responded to more than 9,000 personalized messages, and yet hundreds of writers continue to this day dumping their work into the sewer that is my old AOL account. Clearly, these people are using lists that are dirtier than a Pascagoula pelican washed ashore in BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Like the arc of a kettlebell swing, Internet prospects were once at the bottom of the lead bucket for Iron Tribe Fitness. This year, that channel managed to swing to the top for the Birmingham, Ala.-based business. In February 2010, when its first gym opened, prospects used to call or walk in the front door in order to become members, says Jim Cavale, Iron Tribe's vice president of operations. "We never expected it to be literally flipped around in an opposite manner."
I've been using LinkedIn to net leads and sales with great success lately. Contrary to what "the experts" say, the trick is how you think about what you already know works. In fact, getting prospects off of social media is key. Yes, I'm serious. I know, the gurus claim setting up an engaging LinkedIn group or attractive profile is the key to success for your business. But finding crafty ways to mention your blogs, webinars or new product releases within LinkedIn groups will not work well to create appointments, leads or sales. Not like the technique I've been tapping into can.
Offers are the secret weapon of direct marketers for generating response. An offer is not just a discount, free shipping or free gift. It's a package of elements that work together to encourage action, differentiate you from the competition, build your brand, answer buying objections and encourage fence-sitters to jump off the fence.
Typing a product into a search engine is something consumers do, but it doesn't have a place in serious B-to-B selling, right? The assumption is that, instead of search, B-to-B buyers are more informed (directly or via partnerships), more strategic and more considered in their purchasing than consumers who rely on the Internet to find products, services and solutions. In truth, that premise is not just wrong, it's completely upside down.
How do you get a testing campaign off and running? Marketing teams are understandably trigger-shy to make changes that might impact a constant revenue stream. It can be intimidating to start changing the content on your website, one of your most lucrative sales channels (perhaps your only sales channel), with the risk that the results may not be what you'd expect.
The death of direct mail is the most exaggerated story in marketing. That jumps out at me every year when we compile the Top 50 Mailers list (with a great deal of help from ALC and additional research through Hoover's and SRDS). In that list, you can't help but see how many of the top direct marketers keep sending mail year in and year out, with consistent success.
Big companies have ramped up their mailing in 2012. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sprint/Nextel, Dish Network and Discover Financial Services are all on the list after none of them appeared in 2011 or 2010. In fact, according to our data JPMorgan Chase hasn't mailed this heavily in five years—since 2007 when the company reported a mere $99.9 billion in revenue.
Marketers often think user experience research only pertains to consumers. While an improved user experience for consumers is the expected outcome, it's not the only objective of a well-organized study. So says "It's Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects" by Tomer Sharon, a book published in April 2012 by Morgan Kaufmann.